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Archive for September 2nd, 2011

Turkey Tracks: Love Lies Bleeding: Hope’s Edge Flowers

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Turkey Tracks:  September 2, 2011

Love Lies Bleeding:  Hope’s Edge Flowers

Today is Friday, and on Friday’s I got out to Hope’s Edge, our CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) farm,  to pick up our food.  I take a Mason jar and a pair of scissors along with me and cut a bouquet of flowers from the three long rows of flowers Farmer Tom plants for us each year.  I can fill the jar with water so the flowers don’t wilt hopelessly on the way home.

How pretty is this view?  Not even Hurricane Irene diminished this view.

Each week the selection of flowers changes as different varieties come into their own.

Here’s a bouquet from a few weeks ago.  Outrageous, huh?

That amazing dark pink draping “flower” is called Love Lies Bleeding.

Here’s last week’s bouquet:

And, here’s a picture John took on a recent visit that I really like:

Hope’s Edge folks are hard-working folks who raise the most amazing food for us to eat!  We are so blessed!

I wish for you a CSA program like Hope’s Edge.

Written by louisaenright

September 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: My Read Pile September 2011

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  September 2011

My Read Pile–September 2011

Just finished Sandor Ellix Katz’s WILD FERMENTATION.  LOVED IT!  I can’t think why I have not gotten it sooner.  I’ll be writing the next Mainely Tipping Points on it.  I sat down and read it straight through, and in hours had a cheese ball dripping whey and had a quart jar of kale fermenting.

THE CASE AGAINST FLUORIDE has been written by 3 MAJOR scientists who know what they’re talking about.  The EPA recently lowered the amount of fluoride allowed in municipal water systems.  And, most people get way too much fluoride already in tooth paste–especially children who SWALLOW it.  (Try telling a two-year old not to swallow tasty toothpaste!)  So, more on fluoride later, but meanwhile know that it is very dangerous, that it’s a waste product of industry, and that you should filter it out of your water.  Better still, read about it and try to get it out of your local system.  The time is right!

TOOTH PASTE RECIPE

By the way, the best recipe for toothpaste is just to mix baking soda with good sea salt–equal proportions.  But it in a jar and dip your wet toothbrush into it.  If you want some flavor, get some essential oil of peppermint and use one drop on the wet toothbrush.  Or, some essential lime oil, sweet orange, or one of the oils that are ok to put into your mouth if you rinse them out.  Peppermint essential oil has some nice anti-fungal properties, among other good effects.

Turkey Tracks: New Chickens

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Turkey Tracks:  September 2, 2011

New Chickens

Over the summer, I have replenished and expanded, by one, our chicken flock.

First, two of the older Copper Black Maran hens went to Rose’s farm.  She wanted more dark brown eggs, and we have the new CB chickens, so she will keep the best of those roosters and try to place the rest.  Remember, that we got a “straight run” of 15 CBM chicks from Tom Culpepper last May.  Half of all “straight runs” are, statistically, male.  To no one’s surprise, we have 7 CB Maran roosters.  Indeed, half of all just-born farm animals are male.  And, you cannot keep a lot of males.  Rose has a big flock, so she may be able to have two strong roosters.  But, maybe not.  They still have to go into the same chicken house at night.  Anyway, Rose now has breeding stock to reproduce the CBMs next spring, and I have a back-up CBM rooster.

Napoleon, or “Nappy,” has been rehomed to a lovely woman just starting a flock up north of Belfast.  Rose has agreed to part with one of the two older hens so Julia can have a pair and can raise babies.  Nappy was a terrific rooster with the hens–he took such good care of them–but when they were laying or when he was fenced, he was very protective of the coop and the hens.  He was just too aggressive for the grandchildren or for Jessica’s children–when she comes to take care of the house, chickens, and dogs when we go to Charleston or otherwise travel.  As beautiful as he was–and he was GORGEOUS, it wasn’t worth the risk.

Valentine, otherwise listed here earlier as Chickie Honey Ginger, changed her name when she got a bit bigger.  She’s a sweetheart–a Freedom Ranger meat bird/layer.  She’s HUGE, and, at first, layed a tiny little rosy brown pullet egg when she was only barely four months old.  Here’s a picture.  The larger, darker brown egg is Chickie Annie’s, a CBM who is a year old now.  The cool thing about Valentine’s eggs are that, even as tiny pullet eggs, they are almost always double yolked!

Here’s a picture of Valentine with our 3 “older” hens now–the two wheaten Americaunas, Sally and Nancy, and the CBM chick I raised last summer, Annabelle, or Chickie Annie.

Valentine is only about 10 days older than the CBMaran chicks and the “blue egg” chicks Rose raised this spring.  But, she’s TWICE their size.  She kind of moves between the older hens and the newer three, 2 CBMs and 1 wheaten Americauna from Rose’s rooster William–part of Rose’s “blue egg” chick bunch this spring.  The new girls are scared to death of the old girls and scared of us, though they are gradually settling in now and will come close to us.  I took this picture of them hanging out on the edge of the “chicken briar patch,” the raspberries, about a week ago.

That’s Pearl and Rosie, with our new roo, Pretty Pierre.  Ninja is in the briar patch.  These names come from the grandchildren this summer.

Here’s a picture of Pierre, the best I can do at the moment since he’s new to the group and is only just learning his roo duties.  AND, how to crow.

When Pierre first came, Valentine was very taken with him.  She tried to follow him, and that totally freaked Pierre out.  Remember she’s a very impressive fully grown hen, and he’s just a baby really.  When he got upset, she got even more upset, fluffed up all her feathers, which made her look even bigger, and charged him.  Mercy!  That was his first hour outside the coop cage.  John and I had to get him down out of the tall bushes to put him to bed in the coop that night.

Something happened the next day, as she had a torn comb and was all bloody.  John and I took her inside, washed it off, and put some calendula cream on it.  Here she is with her poor bloody head:

By the second night, she was sleeping next to Pierre in the coop.

So, we go into the fall and winter with 8 chickens–7 hens and a rooster.  The new girls will start laying this month.  We will be rolling in soy-free eggs from healthy chickens.  And, Valentine follows me everywhere when I’m in the yard, earnestly talking to me the whole time.

Chicken love!

Written by louisaenright

September 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm